When it comes to crossbow hunting, one size does not fit all scenarios. Here are three good crossbows for three different hunting situations.
1. Ground Blinds
The popularity of ground blinds is soaring as the average age of hunters rises. Increasingly, we prefer hunting at lower altitudes, and blinds offer concealment and scent containment. Ground blinds are difficult for animals to see into, affording you much greater mobility than a treestand. Plus, you get the option of using a longer-limbed crossbow, which can be stowed anywhere in the blind, including on a shooting stick or other type of prop. Ground blinds are often placed in or around food plots or water holes, forcing the shooter to make longer shots than treestand hunters. Larger, more powerful bows excel at covering increased real estate.
Recommended Model: Barnett Ghost 400 ($999)
Hunting from on high offers distinct advantages over pursuing game from the ground. Treestands permit you to get inside an animal’s comfort zone, with consequently shorter shot distances. However, treestands do have one disadvantage: They are cramped. Small, sub-compact-style bows are best for this type of hunting.
Sub-compacts can be navigated easily within the confines of a treestand, and their forward-mounted limbs can be deployed inside the perimeter of shooting rails, eliminating potential limb interference. These small models can easily be hauled up a tree with a rope.
Recommended Model: Stryker StrykeZone 380 ($729)
Ground-bound hunters want lightweight, nimble bows. But spot-and-stalk hunting sometimes requires long shots, and overly light bows aren’t usually fast enough to deliver the high kinetic energy required to make a kill shot at a great distance.
Reverse-draw bows aren’t light, but they’re fast and compact, and their exquisite balance renders them a less awkward and tiring alternative to forward-limb designs.
Recommended Model: Scorpyd Ventilator ($1,349)